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Benny banks on the society model

By the end of this year Tesco Bank, headed up by former HBOS superstar Benny Higgins, plans to be selling mortgages to the supermarket faithful – although trying to flog a product with a 25-year shelf life and several pages of small print might prove a tad tricky for the quick-sell retailer.

But Higgins is undaunted by the challenge and says he will be reducing the risks implicit in the mortgage business by using retail deposits to fund the bulk of his organisation’s lending activity, adding that Tesco wants to be “a 21st century version of the old building society model”.

This leaves sceptics wondering if he has the Dunfermline, Cheshire or Chelsea models in mind. Or looking at more successful mutuals, perhaps Nationwide or the Yorkshire might provide suitable models.

Alternatively, Higgins might want to emulate the Ecology Building Society with its squeaky clean ethical principles, although he might fight shy of the ceiling put on that society’s chief executive’s salary – five times the basic salary offered by the organisation.

This could be a bit of an uphill struggle for Higgins, even with staff discounts and special offers on caviar and champagne.


Limping for a generation

With apologies to The Blow Monkeys for lifting the title of their debut album, (I love a music link), for some reason this phrase popped into my head when the latest quarterly GDP figures were released showing that we have just about limped out of recession.


Concerns about inflation and the grim unemployment situation lead Mortgage Strategy’s GE Money Home Lending Shadow Monetary Policy Committee to vote unanimously for a hold again

A tough market, but great time to be in it

Leadership is everything when times get tough and times haven’t been any tougher in living memory. The industry has seen the broker market reduce by two thirds. But with this massive reduction in mortgage brokers there has never been a better time to be in this market. Recent figures show the number of mortgage brokers […]

How we’re challenging challenger banks

The bridging market has enjoyed an excellent couple of years and, as a result, has seen a succession of new lenders enter the market. That competition has forced all of us to look carefully at how we price bridging loans. Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time on adjusting the […]


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